We’d like to introduce our resident Eastern Chipmunk. He came to us in October of 2015 after he had been hit by a vehicle. Unfortunately, this caused him to have a permanent head tilt due to the trauma he sustained. He is very mobile and can navigate his exhibit well, but unfortunately can never be released to the wild in his condition.
Chipmunks are apart of the rodent family, and thus their teeth grow throughout their lives. So we monitor our chipmunks teeth as well as overall health during his stay at the Wildlife Sanctuary. We also watch his diet carefully, as not being as active as a wild chipmunk, he can gain weight quite easily. He gets a steady diet of fruits and vegetables, as well as a dry feed specifically designed for rodents and some dog food. He will receive items like nuts or banana chips sparingly as treats which he loves to pack into his cheek pouches and hide throughout his exhibit. We also provide him with a wheel for exercise, and items for him to gnaw on as well to help keep his teeth trimmed.
Eastern Chipmunks are also one of several animals who hibernate over winter. Amazingly, even though he is in a temperature and light controlled environment, our little chipmunk friend goes into a semi-hibernation mode as well. He will gain weight as fall approaches, and slows down his activity and eating over the winter months. He doesn’t ever fully go into hibernation, and animal keepers monitor his diet and weight closely. Then in spring, he starts to become more active and slims down a bit. Now that spring has returned, you will start to see him become more active as well as you will see the wild chipmunks around the Wildlife Sanctuary start to emerge from their slumber. So stop on out at the Woodland Building and visit our cute little rodent friend!